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Energy

Respectful collaboration to create sustainable energy

How can UNDRIP be used to guide respectful collaboration with First Nations?

  • Grades 10-12
  • Class discussion
  • 1 hour
  • New

Overview

In this activity, students review articles from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to better understand what respectful collaboration with First Nations might look like.

What you'll need

  • "Thinking about respectful collaboration" worksheet, one for each student
  • "Evidence of respectful energy collaborations" worksheet, one for each group
  • Excerpts from United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), optional handout

Instructions

Before beginning this activity, remember that the topic of energy projects should be approached with sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Carefully reflect on which sources and activities are most appropriate for your class and community.

  1. Organize your students into small groups (2-4 students) and provide each student with a copy of the "Thinking about respectful collaboration" worksheet. Briefly explain that the development of energy projects (e.g., pipelines, mines, hydroelectric dams) have significantly impacted First Nations communities in BC and across Canada. Ask your students to make an initial decision: how respectful have past energy developments been to First Nations? Ask groups to use the rating scale to make their decision, and to note any evidence that supports their initial thinking. 
  2. Encourage groups to share their decisions and thinking with the class. 
  3. Explore some examples of past energy developments with your students. For example, students could read or listen to discussions about the development of BC’s WAC Bennett dam. Ask students to note on their worksheets any actions that disrespected or respected First Nations. Information about the WAC Bennett dam can be found at:
  4. Ask your students to revisit their initial decision, this time reflecting on the actions that they’ve noted. Prompt your students to use the rating scale to make their decision, and to note any evidence that supports their initial thinking. 
  5. As groups share their thinking, invite them to suggest what respectful collaboration with First Nations might look like. Encourage your students to discuss the qualities of respectful collaboration: what does it feel like, look like, or sound like? For example, qualities for authentic collaboration might include humility, clear communication, active listening, respecting others, taking responsibility, open-mindedness, and adaptability. Encourage groups to share their thoughts with the class and visually display the qualities of respectful collaboration as they are described.
  6. Introduce your students to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Briefly explain that it is an international agreement adopted by the United Nations in 2007 after 25 years of collaboration with Indigenous peoples to preserve the rights of Indigenous peoples. The agreement sets minimum standards for their survival, dignity, and well-being. It applies specifically to Indigenous peoples and builds upon existing human rights laws and fundamental freedoms. In November 2019 the BC government passed the B.C. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and began a process to align BC laws with the UN Declaration.
  7. Provide each group with a copy of the "Evidence of respectful energy collaborations" worksheet. Ask groups to review the selected UNDRIP articles and suggest what evidence of each would look like when creating new energy projects that impact First Nations communities: How would each be demonstrated in future energy projects? What evidence could be accepted as respectful collaboration? 
  8. Tell groups that these criteria can be used to help guide authentic collaborations in future energy projects. Ask groups to consider how BC Hydro might use these criteria to collaborate in authentic ways with First Nations communities. What suggestions do they have for improved collaboration in future energy projects?
  9. Conclude the activity by asking students to revisit the question of what respectful collaboration with First Nations might look like. Ask groups to develop three suggestions for respectful collaboration that all future energy developments should follow. Encourage groups to note their decisions on their worksheets, and then share with the class. 

Additional information

Throughout the activity assess how well students:

  • use evidence to make decisions
  • contribute to group discussions
  • suggest future collaborations based on evidence

Extensions

  • Extend step #7 to include suggesting evidence for each of the UNDRIP articles. 
  • Invite students to find the most important similarities and differences between BC Hydro’s Statement of Indigenous Principles and UNDRIP. Read BC Hydro statement
  • Ask students to rate the respectfulness of collaborations with First Nations across Canada on energy projects using the UNDRIP articles. Students could examine energy developments such as the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Site C Clean Energy Project, Labrador’s Muskrat Falls, or Quebec’s La Romaine project.

Activity notes


How this activity was developed

These materials were created with guidance from Indigenous educators, subject matter experts and thought leaders to help draw upon important teachings, learnings, and Indigenous perspectives.  

For centuries, the traditional western view of water has often been focused on its value as a resource. Indigenous People have a unique relationship with the waters of British Columbia. Since time immemorial, water has played a sacred role and is seen as a living entity. How water is used must be carefully considered with a view towards not just the immediate need and impact, but the needs and perspectives of generations to follow.

We are dedicated to deep listening and respectfully highlighting Indigenous ways of knowing in the materials we provide B.C. educators. If you have any feedback for us on these activities, or suggestions for others, please email schools@bchydro.com. We would love to hear from you.


About the artist

The design of the worksheets in this activity was a collaborative effort with Indigenous artist Kelli Clifton. Kelli Clifton was born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia and is Gitga’at from the community of Hartley Bay. Clifton is interested in using her artwork as a form of storytelling—especially in relation to her Ts’msyen language (Sm’algyax), her coastal upbringing and her experiences as an Indigenous woman.  Clifton currently lives in her home community where she continues to practice her art and teaches Sm’algyax at a local high school. Learn more about Clifton's art on her Facebook Page.


BC Hydro’s commitment to reconciliation

BC Hydro exists to serve British Columbians by providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity. We recognize that maintaining and developing the system has impacts on the lives and interests of Indigenous People. To support our move towards true and lasting reconciliation, BC Hydro will acknowledge past wrongs, listen to Indigenous perspectives and seek shared understanding with First Nations communities and governments. 

Click here to learn more about our Statement of Indigenous Principles.

Grade 10  Science 

Big Idea

  • Energy is conserved, and its transformation can affect living things and the environment.

Content

  • Local and global impacts of energy transformations from technologies

Curricular Competency

Questioning and Predicting

  • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest

Processing and analyzing data and information

  • Apply First Peoples perspectives and knowledge, other ways of knowing, and local knowledge as sources of information
  • Analyze case and effect relationships

Evaluating

  • Demonstrate an awareness of assumptions, question information given, and identify bias in their own work and secondary sources
  • Consider cultural and environmental implications of the finding from their own and others’ investigations

Applying and Innovating

  • Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through individual or collaborative approaches
  • Generate and introduce new or refined ideas when problem solving
  • Contribute to finding solutions to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry

Communicating

  • Communicate scientific ideas, claims, information an perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations
  • Express and reflect on a variety of experiences, perspectives, and worldviews through place


Grade 11 Environmental Science 

Big Idea

  • Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems.
  • Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems. 

Content

  • human actions and their impact on ecosystem integrity
  • First Peoples ways of knowing and doing
  • resource stewardship
  • restoration practices 

Curricular Competency

Questioning and Predicting

  • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal, local, or global interest

Processing and analyzing data and information

  • Apply First Peoples perspectives and knowledge, other ways of knowing, and local knowledge as sources of information
  • Analyze case and effect relationships

Evaluating

  • Demonstrate an awareness of assumptions, question information given, and identify bias in their own work and in primary and secondary sources
  • Consider changes in knowledge over time as tools and technologies have developed
  • Consider social, ethical and environmental implications of the finding from their own and others’ investigations
  • Critically analyze the validity of information in primary and secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems

Applying and Innovating

  • Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through individual or collaborative approaches
  • Contribute to finding solutions to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry
  • Implement multiple strategies to solve problems in real-life, applied and conceptual situations

Communicating

  • Communicate scientific ideas and information, and perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations
  • Express and reflect on a variety of experiences, perspectives, and worldviews through place


Grade 11 Science for Citizens 

Big Idea

  • Scientific processes and knowledge inform our decisions and impact our daily lives. 
  • Scientific understanding enables humans to respond and adapt to changes locally and globally

Content

  • actions and decisions affecting the local and global environment, including those of First Peoples 
  • human impact on Earth’s systems: — natural resources — effects of climate change 

Curricular Competency

Questioning and Predicting

  • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal, local, or global interest

Processing and analyzing data and information

  • Apply First Peoples perspectives and knowledge, other ways of knowing, and local knowledge as sources of information
  • Analyze case and effect relationships

Evaluating

  • Demonstrate an awareness of assumptions, question information given, and identify bias in their own work and in primary and secondary sources
  • Consider changes in knowledge over time as tools and technologies have developed
  • Consider social, ethical and environmental implications of the finding from their own and others’ investigations
  • Critically analyze the validity of information in primary and secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems

Applying and Innovating

  • Contribute to care for self, others, community, and world through individual or collaborative approaches
  • Contribute to finding solutions to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry
  • Implement multiple strategies to solve problems in real-life, applied and conceptual situations

Communicating

  • Communicate scientific ideas and information, and perhaps a suggested course of action, for a specific purpose and audience, constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions, and representations
  • Express and reflect on a variety of experiences, perspectives, and worldviews through place


Grade 10  Social Studies

Big Idea

  • Historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society.

Content

  • Government, First Peoples governance, political institutions, and ideologies
  • Advocacy for human rights, including findings and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Curriculum Competency

  • Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas and data; and communicate findings and decisions 
  • Assess the significance of people, places, events, or developments, and compare varying perspectives on their significance at particular times and places, and from group to group (significance) 
  • Assess the justification for competing accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources, and adequacy of evidence, including data (evidence) 


Grade 11 Social Studies 

Big idea

  • Understanding how political decisions are made is critical to being an informed and engaged citizen
  • Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism

Content

  • colonialism and contemporary issues for indigenous people in Canada and around the world (adapted from Contemporary Indigenous Studies 12) 
  • natural resource use and local, regional, national, or global development (adapted from Human Geography 12) 

Curriculum Competency

  • Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions 
  • Assess the significance of people, places, events, phenomena, ideas, or developments (significance) 
  • Compare and contrast continuities and changes, trends and patterns, or similarities and differences for different people, places, events, phenomena, ideas, or developments (continuity and change) 
  • Assess the short- and long-term causes and expected and unexpected consequences of people’s actions, events, phenomena, ideas, or developments (cause and consequence)

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